Energy Saving Trust extends schemes to guide consumers on green products

Advice on 'green' products

Advice on ‘green’ products

The Energy Saving Trust is extending its labelling and verification services after 12 years running the consumer-facing Energy Saving Trust recommended scheme (ESTr).

The move follows a survey by the Trust, which found consumer demand for green guidance on products and one in five confused about what to buy.

Matthew Knight, head of assurance, Energy Saving Trust, said: “With Green Deal soon to launch there will be more businesses offering new products and services to consumers. One in five of us is confused about what to buy and yet about half of us are interested in buying new energy efficient boilers or double-glazing. This shows consumers are crying out for guidance. 

“We’ll give consumers the reassurance they need and provide businesses with tailor-made schemes to give them the confidence they need to offer new green products and services.”

The extended labelling and verification schemes will build on the legacy of the Energy Saving Trust’s ESTr scheme introduced in 2000. According to the Trust, the ESTr scheme was a key part of a major shake-up in the manufacturing industry to encourage the production and retail of more than 8,000 highly efficient products ranging from household appliances, consumer electronics and computing to insulation products, heating and controls, lighting and glazing.

New services being introduced by the Energy Saving Trust:

  • Energy labelling consultancy – bespoke labelling schemes for green products to help inform consumers’ buying decisions
  • Green claims verification – a service to validate companies’ claims, messages and product information so that consumers are reassured that the products or services live up to the claims
  • Green Deal measures package – a unique scheme that combines the most energy efficient products with Green Deal providers

Knight said: “The ESTr scheme paved the way for a transformation of domestic energy efficient products giving consumers potential annual savings of £57m energy bills through products recommended under the scheme.”

A UK-wide survey of more than 2,000 households commissioned by the Trust found that nearly half of UK households (47%) say they have an interest in installing a boiler with a better energy rating. Just over half (52% say they have an interest in installing double glazing, while more than a fifth (21%) of UK households are “very interested” in fitting insulation to their home. Despite strong interest in going green, one is five is confused about what to buy and four in ten will go to an independent body first for advice.

Companies can continue to benefit from an ESTr-type assurance scheme beyond 2013 as part of the Energy Saving Trust’s bespoke labelling service.